Question:

Hi,
My son is 6 months old, and I’ve been saying shma Al hamita for him before putting him to sleep since he was a newborn. Now that it’s summer and his bedtime is no longer after dark, is there an issue with saying shma Al hamita since it is intended to be said at night?
I have been saying hamapil without saying Shem Hashem, but the rest I have been saying normally.
I like the idea of saying it for him as both protection, as well as for chinuch purposes. If it’s not ok, are there any parts of the shma I can say for him? And is there anything I need to do or say (hatarat nedarim) since I’ve been saying it every.night?
Thanks

Answer:

You are allowed to say shema with him even though it is light outside, as this is when he is going to sleep for the night, however we don’t hamapil during the daytime. The reason is since this bracha is to thank H-shem for sleep, which is meant to be done at night.

You don’t have to say the whole thing with him, however if you want to do that you may. When he gets old enough to say things on his own (or together with you), that will be a bit much for such a young child, and you should only say a little bit with him and work it up as he gets older.

Best Wishes

Sources:

M:B 239- 8, Btzel Hachochma 5-166

Tags: Chinuch kriyas shema al hamita

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